Learning from bad examples

Jason HoetFrontPage, News, Pastor

Lent Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

What is the relevance of the Old Testament? This is a question we explored last Sunday as we began our series from the book of Hebrews, ‘Fixed on Jesus’. Our reading today is an example of the Apostle Paul’s approach to the Hebrew scriptures.

Although writing to Jews and non-Jews, Paul sees the history of Israel as now part of the Christian’s faith story. Regardless of their bloodline. He also understands the Christian journey is foreshadowed in the Old Testament. In this instance through the story of the Exodus. Israel’s Exodus experience serves as an example to us. Whether being led by God by cloud or passing through the red sea or the provision of food and water in the desert. All these things inform the Christian regarding their own faith walk. As do the sins and judgement of those who disobeyed God.

It is sobering to remember despite experiencing incredible miraculous provision and protection, people still rejected God. It is sobering to also come to terms with God’s judgment on them. Paul writes this serves as a warning for us,

“Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. (1 Cor 10: 11-12 MSG)”

That is what happens when we reject God and go our own way. We can learn from such bad examples. Do exactly the opposite. When temptation comes our way, run away from it and towards God. Through God, there is always a way to overcome.

“God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor 10:13 NIV)